Locals Blame Sime Darby Liberia GM For ‘Endless Crises’

Mr. David Parker, General Manager Sime Darby Plantation Liberia

Since the mysterious death of an employee of the Malaysia run palm plantation in Liberia, the Sime Darby Plantation Liberia (SDPL) operating in both Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties which has led to the go-slow of its workforce, many of the citizens are said to be apportioning blame on the General Manager of the Company.

The locals from the two counties in conversation with reporters this week blamed Mr. David Parkers for being insensitive of their plight, making specific reference of the ongoing situation where employees of the Company have resolved to reluctantly stay off job until the mysterious death of their colleague is clearly explained.

Locals of Grand Cape Mount and Bomi Counties expressing their frustration at one of their meetings

“Mr. David Parker is not helping in the growth and development of Sime Darby Plantation in its totality to cement the cordial relationship that was built by his predecessor, Mr. Rosli Tai and one Joy of the account department who was considered as a ‘Down –to-Earth’ individual. Mr. Joy always took up time to visit every sector of our communities seeking the welfare of all. But since the arrival David Parker as the new General Manager everything has changed overnight,” the locals told reporters.

As a result of Mr. David Parker’s poor working relationship with the workforce of the Company, some residents of both counties who spoke to the GNN separately vent out their frustration noting that despite of the intervention of the Liberia National Police to probe the mysterious death of their colleague, and the subsequent release of the findings, they will still be constrained to further demand more details.

However, some of those who spoke to reporters said even though he David Parker helped to carry on the long overdue compensation payment, and mounted solar panels in some of the areas, but has brought division within the Plantation between him and his team, and the Malaysians on the other hand.

“Mr. Parker usually hid behind the scene and speak to few people, and at the end of it there will be confusion, and then he act like he can fix the problem. He is not helping to resolve the situation in anyway. We think that as manager, he is going in the wrong way,” one of the ladies who spoke to reporters said.

According to investigation, Mr. Parker was once head of the Equatorial Palm Oil (EPO), and was later dismissed for unknown reason, and was hired by as head of the ACDI/VOCA, but again was reportedly relieved of that post.

Efforts by the GNN to get Mr. Parker to speak on the allegations leveled against him proved unsuccessful as his mobile lines rang endlessly. Detail will follow in our subsequent posting.

Sime Darby Plantation’s operations in Liberia is managed by Sime Darby Plantation (Liberia) Inc., after signing a 63-year concession agreement with the Government of Liberia to develop 220,000 ha of land in Grand Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu and Bong into oil palm and rubber plantations. To date, 10,508 ha has been planted in 5 estates, namely Matambo, Grand Cape Mount, Zodua, Bomi and Lofa estates. Out of the total planted area of 10,508 Ha, 10,401 Ha is planted with oil palm and 107 Ha is planted with rubber.

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About Cholo Brooks 16097 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.